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There is no right or wrong decision regarding sending children to school – Edu. Minister

(Minister of Education Priya Manickchand speaking with a pupil of Smyth Street Nursery school as he was being picked up by his father)

As schools reopened on Monday for face-to-face teaching, the Ministry of Education says it will support the choice parents make; whether to send their children to school or to keep them at home.

In a statement on Monday, the first day of the new school term, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said “there is no right or wrong decision that parents can make regarding sending their children to school during this particular time.”

On Monday, based on data received from 51% of the nursery and primary schools across Guyana, 70% of nursery pupils attended school along with 95% of teachers being present. At the Primary level, 92% of teachers were in attendance with 65% of their pupils present, the Ministry said.

It must be noted that some schools have chosen to teach specific grades on different days to avoid crowded classrooms and to maintain social distancing. Therefore, the attendance data does not reflect the entire school population but rather those students who were scheduled to attend school Monday.

Further, the Education Minister said that she is pleased to see that the diagnostic assessment began across the country as the results will inform how and what teachers will teach in the coming weeks.

(Sanitizing of furniture at St. Sidwell’s Primary school before the start of the afternoon session)

During the first half of this academic year, students are expected to be taught the topics they missed last year before they move onto another grade.

The Ministry disclosed that 10 schools were unable to reopen because some of the teachers tested positive for COVID-19. The Ministry of Education said it wishes for a smooth recovery process for those teachers and will remain versatile and responsive to meet the needs of our students and teachers in this constantly evolving situation.